April 10

Junior Samples

April 10, 1926 - Cumming

Was he an actor? Not hardly. Could he read cue cards and remember lines? Not so hot. Was he a Hee Haw star anyhow? Just mention BR-549.

Alvin “Junior” Samples was born in Cumming, Georgia, in 1926 and spent the first 40 years of his life doing carpentry, driving race cars, and fishing. And lyin’ about it. In 1966 he told a story called “The Whopper” on local radio about catching a big fish, and it became a novelty record. That led directly to his getting on Hee Haw in 1969.

The format borrowed generously from Laugh In. Samples had never acted, but he knew about hillbillies — real or invented, like the Culhanes. He did the blackout cornfield sketches as good as Roy Clark or Buck Owens and most famously played a used car salesman who told buyers to call a five-digit phone number, BR-549.

One of the most unlikely but beloved stars of the small screen was born in Cumming on April 10, 1926, Today in Georgia History.